SkateChurch

I just received a Skater DVD in the mail from Kevin Palau of The Palau Evangelistic Association. They have been setting up skate parks at their Festivals and have a heart for skaters everywhere. Livin’ It the Movie was directed by Stephen Baldwin and filmed in Portland with some of the best skaters and bike riders in the country. Nearly 60,000 videos have been sold already. Anyone out there seen the video?
livin it
There are of lot of churches for skate boarders around – Sweden, Switzerland, and ExtremeChurch in USA come to my mind, but there is there is only one that is over 25 years old. Its called SkateChurch and its in Portland, Oregon. [Link to review]

I remember the founders, Paul Anderson and Clint Bidleman, when they were starting out. Clint was in one of my classes at Multnomah Bible College back in 1988. He used to ride his skateboard to class and keep it next to his side during the teaching. WHAT A SKATE_GEEK!!!!!
Paul and Clint have had about 20,000 skaters come through their ministry, 1000 of them deciding to follow Jesus at the meetings. And they are still going strong – thats amazing! They also work as evangelists among skaters nationally.
I was a skater, BTW. I sucked at it! I could do about 3 tricks, but could never do a handstand which mentally crippled me from ever progressing beyond lame-dom. Oh well.
I think Christian skaters in USA are on an even par with Christian Surfers in Australia. Sometimes they are the same people during different seasons. Skaters are one of the most reached out to demographic groups in USA. I suppose the Skaters who follow Jesus have done their job in telling others.

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

10 Comments

  • I too was inspired by the Palau festivals and was involved in the organisation that put on Festival Manchester. Following on from that I decided that we should include a skate park @ the Grapevine event in Lincoln. It went down a storm. The guy who supervised the park was so impacted by the Christian volunteers that he has said he wanted to help next year for free! and has since checked out a local church near his home. You might also want to check out projektsmcr.com which a friend of mine set up in Manchester as a means of reaching the boarding community. They’ve made a massive impact and he was only 20 when he almost single handedly kicked the whole thing off. Love the blog by the way!

  • Although I can not speak directly about skatechurch, I gotta encourage anything that supports ministry in Portland. We need your support and prayers here in the Northwest!
    Pray for skatechurch.
    Pray for the many, many church plants that are happening all over the place here.
    Pray for the long established churches, both small and mega.
    Pray for the para-church ministries.
    Pray for Portland’s House of Prayer. (pray twice for that one, I am involved there!)
    Pray for the tired intercessors.
    Pray for the unheard prophets.
    Pray for the hurting shepherds.
    Pray for unity among all of the above.
    Pray for the church of Portland, Oregon.
    Did I mention….
    Pray for Portland.
    A city of refuge.

  • I’ve had some of my most (and least) productive evangelistic moments with skaters….For a season we seemed to have very productive skater altar calls. So much so that I think the enemy got really irritated and called down the municipal powers on the ministry. The skate outreach thing is like what John Wimber called “felt needs” evangelism…As Robert Schuler would say, “Find a need and fill it.”
    I could never figure how to get anything “normal” out of our skater outreach. Maybe God didn’t want anything “normal.”
    Blessings,
    Charlie Wear

  • Two young (15-16 year old!) guys in a local church started a skate ministry ( in partnership with SonSk8) in the area, and have reached so many, many young folk who were feeling very lost. Along with the SonSurf ministry nearby, these groups are making valuable contributions to kids (and oldies!) who otherwise feel pretty sidelined. They bubble over with passion for God and His cause, and it attracts people to them like moths to the flame…! 🙂

  • I saw Stephen Baldwin interviewed on, um… the Crystal Cathedral one Sunday. I wasn’t watching – honest. I was channle surfing and stumbled across it. Really. He seemed very sincere, and I was impressed with his presentation.

  • I met Kevin at a Regent University Prayer Breakfast in Alexandria, VA. He’s there preparing for the 2005 DC crusade. Regent was kind enough to give them some office space at the DC campus. Man what a great guy! You can tell he has such a heart for his dad and for God. I was very impressed with him.
    On another note, a friend of mine is a pastor of a church called Freedom Life here in Virginia. They’ve really got a great outreach to skaters as well. If I’m not mistaken they’ve built a skate park and they allow the kids to use it for free if they come to church. You can argue the philosophy of that but I guess its working.

  • Funny you should mention it. I have worked with both Sk8Church in PDX and Christian Surfers International. I had the privilege of meeting CS people from all over the world in Hossegor France this last September.

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